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Criminal Offences – Frequently Asked Questions

The University will not conduct investigations into allegations of criminal offences, and will normally postpone any disciplinary proceedings under the Conduct Regulations until the police investigation or legal proceedings are concluded. However, the University must be made aware, in certain circumstances, of criminal investigations, charges, bail conditions, convictions and certain Court Orders made in respect of students.

  • I have an unspent criminal conviction, acquired before I started studying at the University - do I need to declare it?

    Possibly. Students must disclose any unspent criminal conviction for a relevant offence* at enrolment and registration to the Director of Academic and Student Affairs. If you do not do so within two workings days, this may constitute a disciplinary offence under the Conduct Regulations.

    *see below

  • What is an unspent criminal conviction?

    What makes a conviction ‘spent’ depends on your age at date of conviction in court and the length and type of sentence received. The rehabilitation periods are outlined in The Rehabilitation of Offenders (NI) Order 1978, and you should check this Order to determine whether your conviction is spent or not.

  • What is a relevant offence?

    A relevant offence is a criminal offence involving any act of violence, offences concerning the intention to harm or resulting in actual harm, the unlawful supply of controlled drugs or substances where the conviction concerns commercial drug dealing or trafficking, offences involving firearms, arson, or those listed in the Sex Offences Act 2003 or The Terrorism Act 2006.

  • What will happen after I disclose an unspent conviction for a relevant criminal conviction upon enrolment and registration?

    An Investigating Officer will be appointed to carry out a risk assessment. You may be invited to meet with the Investigating Officer.

    Once the risk assessment is complete, the report will be considered by a Risk Assessment Panel, who will make a decision about your continued study at the University, and may impose a penalty which may include:

    1. suspension from the University (which may be for the period of the sentence or Court Order);
    2. exclusion from any part of the University; or
    3. expulsion from the University. 

     

    If you are unhappy with the decision of the Risk Assessment Panel, you may appeal to the Student Disciplinary Appeals Committee in the usual way.

  • I am a current student and have been notified that I am under police investigation in relation to a criminal offence, what must I do?

    Students whose programmes are covered by the Fitness to Practise Procedure, (medicine, dentistry, nursing and midwifery, psychology, teaching, social work, pharmacy, professional legal training) must disclose to the University as soon as possible if they become subject to a police investigation, any bail conditions, or acquire a criminal record in relation to any criminal offence.

    Any other student must notify the Director of Academic and Student Affairs (dasa@qub.ac.uk) immediately if they are under police investigation for a relevant offence*, are charged with a relevant offence, are summonsed in relation to a relevant offence, or are subject to bail conditions which have any impact on their ability to attend campus or carry out study.

    *see above

    You must provide the following details:

    1. the nature of the offence;
    2. any police or court bail conditions imposed;
    3. the charge (if any) against you; and
    4. the name and contact details of the Investigating Officer, if known.
  • What happens if I do not disclose the required information to the University?

    If you do not comply with your obligation to disclose the required information to the University, this may constitute a disciplinary offence under the Conduct Regulations, the standard penalty for which is expulsion.

  • What happens once I have made a disclosure?

    A risk assessment will be carried out, and, if appropriate to protect members of the University in general, or to protect a particular member or members of the University, or to prevent a reoccurrence of any (alleged) misconduct, a precautionary suspension or exclusion from the University may be imposed on you by a Pro-Vice Chancellor, pending the outcome of a disciplinary hearing, police investigation or criminal or civil proceedings. You will be notified in writing of the terms of the precautionary suspension or exclusion, and written reasons for the decision will made.

    In certain circumstances, it may be deemed necessary for an Emergency Precautionary Suspension or Exclusion to be imposed by the Director of Academic and Student Affairs (or nominee), for a maximum of five working days. The decision of the Director of Academic and Student Affairs (or nominee) will be reviewed by a Pro-Vice Chancellor, who may at that stage impose a precautionary suspension or exclusion, as above.

    If you are subject to a precautionary suspension or exclusion, you will be able to access the student support services e.g. Student Wellbeing, Advice SU.

  • Will I be able to make a statement?

    Before any precautionary suspension or exclusion is imposed (except an Emergency Precautionary Suspension or Exclusion), you will have the right to make representations to the Pro-Vice Chancellor. If you are unable to attend to make representations, e.g. you are in custody or abroad, you will be entitled to make written representations within five working days of the suspension or exclusion taken effect.

  • If a precautionary suspension or exclusion is imposed, can I challenge the decision?

    You have the right to request a review of the decision of the Pro-Vice Chancellor to impose a precautionary suspension or exclusion.

    You must request a review by emailing Academic Affairs (academic-affairs@qub.ac.uk) within five working days of notification of the decision to impose the precautionary suspension or exclusion. You need only confirm that you wish to request a review, and may provide any additional information that you wish to be considered.

    The review will be carried out by Review Panel, being a Pro-Vice Chancellor (different from the Pro-Vice Chancellor who made the original decision), and a senior colleague. You will be invited to attend the Review Panel and make any representations that you wish.

  • What can the Review Panel decide?

    The Review Panel can decide to confirm the decision of the Pro-Vice Chancellor to impose a precautionary suspension or exclusion, or it can overturn the decision.

    If the decision of the Review Panel is that the precautionary suspension or exclusion should remain in place, the decision will normally be reviewed every four weeks. You will be invited to make any written representations or provide updates in relation to any developments prior to the review.

    Any period of precautionary suspension or exclusion may last until the police investigation, criminal, civil or disciplinary proceedings are concluded.

  • What if I am unhappy with the decision of the Review Panel?

    The decision of the Review Panel is final, and there is no further internal right of appeal.

    If you have exhausted all internal procedures and feel aggrieved by the process or outcome, you may make a complaint to the Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman. If you wish to submit a complaint to the Ombudsman, you must do so within six months of the date of notification of the University’s decision.

  • What if I become subject to an Anti-Social Behaviour Order, Non-Molestation Order, an Order under the Protection from Harassment (NI) Order 1997, or a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO)?

    All students must immediately inform the Director of Academic and Student Affairs (dasa@qub.ac.uk) if they become subject to any of these Orders.

    Failure to do so may constitute a disciplinary offence under the Conduct Regulations, for which the standard penalty is expulsion.Once a disclosure in relation to one of the above Court Orders has been made, an Investigating Officer will be appointed to carry out a risk assessment. The student may be invited to meet with the Investigating Officer.

    Once the risk assessment is complete, the report will be considered by a Risk Assessment Panel, who will make a decision about the student’s continued study at the University, and may impose a penalty which may include:

    1. suspension from the University (which may be for the period of the Court Order);
    2. exclusion from any part of the University; or
    3. expulsion from the University.

    If a student is unhappy with the decision of the Risk Assessment Panel, they may appeal to the Student Disciplinary Appeals Committee in the usual way.